I love my Friday vegetable shopping. Why do I have a feeling that I have already said that earlier?? Because I have! I can’t talk enough about my love for vegetable shopping especially when I spot vegetables and fruits I have never known before.
Last friday I found some of the most gorgeous Eggplants at my Organic store and as always I was very exited. These were so incredibly fresh that it looked like it was just picked from the plant a couple of hours ago. I bought some, got back home, took photos and shared it on my FB page. I had never seen any eggplants like this one. They were small and white with long wing like crown around the stem. I had never seen this variety of eggplant before.
Thanks to the power of internet and my ever helpful readers, I soon discovered they are ‘African Eggplants’. Somebody also told me that they are called ‘Chitte Badane’ (Butterfly eggplant), ‘Rekke Badane’ (Wing eggplant) in Kannada locally. Whatever it was called, it really looked stunning… well that’s the eggplant lover speaking
I cooked the eggplant with whatever I had in my refrigerator without any recipe in mind but it turned out to be super tasty. The fresh green chilies used here were grown in my parents farm (reached me that same morning). They are fragrant and fleshy but not very hot. I have used only fresh ingredients here expect for the turmeric powder. I deliberately hold back on using ground spice powders if I want the taste and freshness of the vegetable to be highlighted. Here in this, you can taste the meaty eggplant, bitter fenugreek leaves and hot green chilies without a dozen other flavors interfering with them. Since the eggplant and the fenugreek leaves are both a little bitter, I balanced it with a tiny amount of jaggery. Feel free to skip it or simply increase the amount of shallots/onions used. Slowly roasted onions turn beautifully sweet.
This is simple home cooking at it’s best. I cook one vegetable like this every single day with very little oil or spices and I never get tired of all the different combinations I can come up with.
Use any variety of eggplants you like.
You can use any kind of mild peppers/chilies in this recipe. If using very hot chilies, use just 1 or 2
Make sure you don’t over cook the eggplant, it can be mushy and unappetizing.
This can be served with rice + dal, chapati, used as stuffing in Indian style sandwiches and in wraps along with some raw vegetables for crunch.
- 4-5 small white/green eggplants
- 7-8 fresh big green chilies
- 1 packed cup of fresh fenugreek leaves
- 1/2 cup of thinly sliced shallots/onions
- 2-3 springs of fresh curry leaves
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1-2 tsp jaggery powder
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
Cut the eggplant into thick wedges and place them in cold salt water for 5-7 minutes.
Clean and chop the fresh fenugreek leaves and slit the green chilies.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the shallots/onions and curry leaves. Fry in low flame for 3-5 minutes until nicely caramelized, soft and sweet. Add the green chilies and the (completely drained) eggplant. Mix everything well, cover and cook in medium flame for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric powder, jaggery powder, salt and sprinkle some water, cover and continue to cook in medium flame for another minute or two. When the eggplant looks half cooked add the fenugreek leaves. Mix everything well and let it cook without the lid for all the water to evaporate.
Last friday, on November 30th I had my first ever presentation on eating organic and healthy food and it couldn’t have been on a better platform than BioFach 2012, South Asia’s Largest Organic Fair. It was a wonderful experience for me to share my journey with everybody and I can’t thank The Alternative enough for organizing this. ‘Nature on my plate’ was a fabulous concept and I am sure it was very beneficial to a lot of people. Thank you so much for providing me this opportunity. Here are some photos from my session!